For true Totnesians there is no place quite like Totnes. It really is the centre of the universe. It’s eccentric, quirky and historic.
Amble up the high street, served well by antiques shops and cream teas, and you’ll find a mix of true locals and incomers who hide their healthy bank balances behind their knitted jumpers and conker shoes. Well-heeled it certainly is – a retreat for the boho chic and those who are embracing the New Age.
Totnes is a fascinating place, and along its busy high street that rises up towards the castle, indie shops, boutiques, cheese shops, natural food shops, galleries, book and gift shops sit shoulder to shoulder, with the occasional waft of burning joss sticks enticing people in.
This myriad of shops ensure Totnes is a bucket list destination, helping to keep the local economy alive, and the high street buzzing.
But aside from this mecca of shopping opportunities, Totnes boasts a fascinating history. So enjoy a bite to eat at Bayards Kitchen, and then take the mile or so stroll to Totnes.
You’ll encounter woodlands and meadows and then eventually end up next to the River Dart passing the South Devon Steam Railway, Rare Breeds Farm There are signposts along the way to guide you. Here are a few of our favourite places.
Keeping its eye on the town is this classic Norman motte and Bailey castle founded soon after the Conquest to overawe the Saxon town.
It offers fabulous views over the town towards the River Dart, and there’s plenty of space to enjoy a picnic.
Look closely and you’ll find graft on the trees left by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War.
Just below the historic Eastgate arch is the fascinating museum that’s contained within an authentic Elizabethan Merchant’s house that dates back to 1575.
The house retains many features dating back to the Elizabethan period and has been painstakingly restored. There’s so much to see here, its a true marvel, transporting you back to an era that will leave you fascinated and in awe of our ancestors. Prepare to be transported through time and place.
Embarking on a town trail is one of the best ways to really delve into a town’s history, and the Totnes Town Trail won’t leave you disappointed.
Click here for the route https://www.southdevonaonb.org.uk/portfolio_page/totnes-town-trail-1m/
The Brutus Stone
Don’t blink, else you’ll miss it, but the Brutus Stone is an important part of Totnes’ history – its on the right-hand side when walking up Fore Street next to number 51.
No one really knows if the story of the Brutus Stone is true but it is said that Brutus of Troy stepped onto it when he arrived in Britain, after his epic journey there from the eastern Mediterranean.